Yoichi Wada

(Image Credit: Cheat Code Central)

During Square Enix’s financial earnings call yesterday, the publisher claimed that it’s three biggest releases as of late, Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs, all underperformed in terms of worldwide sales.

Noting an especially “ineffective” marketing push in North America, Square Enix stated that although all three titles were critically received, their sales failed to live up to expectations. Not accounting for digital sales of each title on distribution platforms such as PSN, Steam and XBLA, the following are the worldwide numbers, to date, for each of the games:

Sleeping Dogs (August 2012) – 1.75 million

Hitman: Absolution (November 2012) 3.6 million

Tomb Raider (March 2013) – 3.4 million

Interestingly enough, they didn’t seem to reveal what their actual sales expectations for each title were. In light of this announcement, Square Enix revealed their plans for restructuring the company as well as the resignation of president Yoichi Wada, who cited the “extraordinary loss” as reason for stepping down.

In a time where the economy has gone down the toilet and the average AAA title struggles to reach 1 million sales, you’d think 3+ million is nothing to complain about. Are budgets and marketing costs for these games really so high that typically successful grosses like these aren’t enough to sustain a major publisher any more?

How do you feel about this info, single-players? Let us know, and stay tuned for more news on Square Enix’s titles.

Michael Urban
Now an occasional contributer, Michael Urban is the former Editor-in-Chief at OnlySP and has the nickname "Breadcrab" for reasons his therapist still doesn't understand. From the moment he first got hacked in Runescape, he's been uninterested in multiplayer games and has pursued the beauty of the single-player experience, especially in terms of story and creative design. His hobbies include reading, writing, singing in the shower, pretending to be productive, and providing info and feedback regarding the games industry. It is an industry, right? You can ask him a question or send him spam at michaelurban@onlysp.escapistmagazine.com. Also, follow him on Twitter or the terrorists win. (@MichaelUrban1)

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  1. I think publishers nowadays are just greedy bastards. Anything else?

  2. From my sources in the industry, 3 million is becoming kind of a minimum of sales for most AAA stuff. There are some differences, usually based on the size of the development team, but for the most part, that is the spot they aim for. And, that is just to break even, which means that publishers are usually looking for 4+ million sales to make a decent profit.

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